Thank you to NetGalley and Oni Press for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Chef’s Kiss
Author: Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine (Illustrations)
Genre: Graphic Novel, New Adult, LGBTQ+
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: 12th April 2022
Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right?
When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear.
Chef’s Kiss is a sweet graphic novel and a delectable feast for the eyes! The artwork is amazing and it reminded me of a comic book art style while also having a modern feel to it. I loved the colour palette and was drawn to the pretty cover.
The story follows Ben who has recently graduated from university and is struggling to find a job. I personally related to Ben and I think a lot of people can see themselves in his character. Ben is a fellow bookworm who has a passion for writing, but he soon learns that his dream job is out of reach without professional experience. Luckily, Ben sees a help wanted sign outside of a restaurant which doesn’t require any experience. He decides to apply and is hired on a trial basis. Ben needs to pass a series of challenges before he can prove himself in Le Cochon Doré.
Without giving too much away, I loved Watson, the adorable food connoisseur! The foodie feel in this graphic novel is a highlight. Ben enjoys cooking in his spare time and he goes on a delightful culinary journey where he not only learns about the art of cooking but also discovers more about himself. It was lovely to see the different dishes that Ben learns to prepare in the restaurant and they all looked delicious.
Ben’s friendship with his roommates Liz, Rachel and Tom was a joy to read. They are all very supportive of each other’s aspirations. All of Ben’s friends have their own unique personality traits and they have great dynamics. There are moments of humour in their interactions, as well as a sense of found family.
Since the title of this graphic novel is Chef’s Kiss, I was hoping for a little more romance! The development of Ben and Liam’s relationship is subtle and cute, but the focus of the story is more about finding your way in the world.
A feel-good graphic novel about food, friendship and finding yourself.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐